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4 (CHETYRE) An instant sensation upon its premiere at the 2004 Venice Film Festival, Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s debut feature bagged a Tiger Award in Rotterdam last year and floored ’em at Tribeca. There’s no getting past this riotous, putrescent juggernaut—it must be confronted. The son of Andrei Khrzhanovsky, one of Russia’s foremost animators, 31-year-old Ilya trained at VGIK under Marlen Khutsiev, creator of the Thaw-period masterwork “The Ilyich Gate” (1964). While young Khrzhanovsky’s chops are clearly abundant, “4” is a collaborative endeavor down to its grimy fingertips, principally with screenwriter Vladimir Sorokin, known for such coruscating novels as “The Queue” and the recent bestseller “Blue Lard.” Cinema Village (Ioannis Mookas).

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ADAM & STEVE You know how sometimes you see a fun, gay movie where the young couple is in love and they have kooky friends, and it ends with hope and promise? The script bubbles with wit and an actor or two you like from a successful TV show makes a delightful surprise appearance in a small, independent film? “Adam & Steve” is not that movie. If you would like to see that movie, you can. It’s called “Trick” and you can rent it. Quad, Clearview Chelsea. (Seth Bookey)

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BRICK Finally, here’s a film for everyone who wishes Raymond Chandler wrote a novel set in high school! “Brick” has absolutely nothing going for it besides a gimmick-film noir played by teenagers. Angelika, BAM Rose Cinemas. (Steve Erickson)

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CACHÉ (Hidden) Michael Haneke’s never come across a genre he didn’t want to implode—family melodrama in “The Seventh Continent” and “The Piano Teacher,” horror in “Funny Games,” science fiction in “Time of the Wolf.” With “Caché,” he’s made a thriller that retains all the form’s tension while offering little of its satisfactions and catharsis. In French with English subtitles. Landmark Sunshine. (Steve Erickson)

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CLEAN Addiction is a popular theme in recent cinema, especially American indies, but “Clean” does its best to sidestep the clichés around it. Films about junkies usually involve fetishistic depictions of the ritual of shooting up, but “Clean” merely shows Emily’s face and the upper part of her arm, with a rubber tube tied around it. There are no pornographic close-ups of needles entering veins. The film’s dialogue about drugs centers around one question. Can an addict really change her life? In an early scene, a musician says, “Junkies are forever.” Emily’s life suggests that it’s a false assumption, but it dominates other people’s perceptions of her. Landmark Sunshine, Lincoln Plaza. (Steve Erickson.)

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THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU The story outline couldn’t be simpler. A dilapidated pensioner, Dante Remus Lazarescu (Ion Fiscuteanu), is home alone with the cats in the amber fug of his Bucharest flat. When a migraine and abdominal pains grow too racking, he reluctantly calls for an ambulance. Once the paramedics finally arrive, he’s shunted all night among hospitals overloaded with casualties from a ghastly highway accident. Between jaunts his condition worsens, and by the time he’s berthed for surgery in the wee small hours, it becomes clear that his passing is at hand. Film Forum (Ioannis Mookas)

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THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON Forty-five-year-old child-man Daniel Johnston—bipolar singer/ songwriter and visual artist, brand name of a family-run cultural cottage industry, frowzy idol to a far-flung coterie—is the mercurial object of Jeff Feuerzeig’s absorbing nonfiction portrait “The Devil and Daniel Johnston.” Landmark Sunshine, Kew Gardens. (Ioannis Mookas)

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DRAWING RESTRAINT 9 The IFC center has, up until this point in its existence, prided itself on showing low-budget independent features. In fact, they are so proud of being the place for low-budget independent films that they have displayed them without much regard for their quality. Budget and high quality production were not the issues facing their newest acquisition, “Drawing Restraint 9”-but other questions emerge. IFC Center (Nick Feitel)

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I AM A SEX ADDICT Caveh Zahedi has struggled to make four features in 15 years. With “I Am a Sex Addict,” he’s inadvertently stumbled onto something trendy. This film combines the voyeurism of reality TV with the comedy of embarrassment purveyed by Larry David on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Ricky Gervais on “The Office” and “Extras.” The film’s central character is Zahedi, who plays himself, and calls to mind the early work of Albert Brooks, whose first three films—“Real Life,” “Modern Romance,” and “Lost in America”—are notable for their unrelenting self-laceration. IFC Center. (Steve Erickson)

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THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE “The Notorious Bettie Page” features a great protagonist, even if it’s unsure what to do with her. The life of Bettie Page reveals some of the contradictions of her times—this film focuses on the ‘50s, when she worked as a pin-up model—and ours. Utopian thinking has fallen out of fashion, but in its own modest way, “The Notorious Bettie Page” practices it. It imagines a reconciliation between sex and religion. Admittedly, it’s a troubled one that requires a great deal of naiveté to work, but its awkwardness is still revealing. AMC Loews Village, Clearview Chelsea, Lincoln Plaza. (Steve Erickson)

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SOMERSAULT When teenage impulsiveness intersects with the discovery that sex gives you power, the results can be a disaster. In the case of Heidi, a 16-year-old from Canberra, the Australian capital, this combination proves explosive enough to make her run off to Lake Jindabyne, a ski resort area, after coming on to her mother’s live-in boyfriend in the first ten minutes of “Somersault.” As she refers to the incident later, her mother “looked at me like she didn’t know me anymore”—so devastating is the extent of her new power. Landmark Sunshine. (Seth Bookey)

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SOPHIE SCHOLL-THE FINAL DAYS At last year’s New York Film Festival, a journalist asked Austrian director Michael Haneke if he knew any people who don’t lie. He said “Yes, but they don’t make very interesting characters.” Marc Rothemund’s real-life heroine Sophie Scholl was a very good liar, as it turns out, but he turns her anti-Nazi resistance into a form of secular sainthood. Quad. (Steve Erickson)

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Updated 5:17 pm, July 20, 2018
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